It has been much too long since I have posted on my little blog. New things are afoot here in casa Amal...Although I am still an interior design consultant with Meg Braff, I have decided to shift the bulk of my energies to creating my own design business and have found myself one very busy lady. On the one hand, Meg has tons of exciting jobs including the 2015 Coastal Living Showhouse, but working for myself has its own creative rewards. My new firm is "Amal Kapen Interiors, LLC" and my focus is residential interior design, classic interiors with a modern twist. Tune in for new work and my latest musings.


Happy New Year 2015!!!

   Here's to night to forget and a year to remember!!!!!  xoxo


Todd Romano Part Deux

Designer Todd Romano has a store which I must visit at the Fine Arts Building, 232 East 59th Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10022...Below are some more images from his portfolio which you can see here...The man has divine taste.

From Habitually Chic Blog...


Wallpaper Color Inspiration

We all have our little mini obsessions and mine this week is this amazing Bennison paper "Phoenix."  I am in love with this wallpaper -- and it looks terrific in this powder room.  I had this tealish blue color in my mind's eye today when I sat down today to figure out new colorways for wallpaper at work…

And I kept thinking about it when I got home.  Although I have a million and one things I need to do in my house (and repapering my existing powder room is not among them) I have this terrible urge to find a new wallpaper for my powder room and this is high on the list.
I wish I could give credit to the person who designed this bathroom…
Please let me know if you have any idea...


Markham Roberts' Book Signing

Such a busy week that I am just now getting an opportunity to post the photos from Markham Roberts book signing at Meg Braff's fabulous shop in Locust Valley.  It was such a pleasure to meet the talented and charming Markham Roberts and his partner, art and antiques dealer, James Sansum.  Meg Braff was as usual a charming hostess and it was a wonderful evening…If you had not had a chance to get a copy of his book, Decorating the Way I See It, you can get it here.

Markham Roberts signing away….photo by Cali Ross
One of my favorite decorators, Markham Roberts and his partner, the charming Jame Sansum (left), photo by Cali Ross
The lovely Meg Braff (center) and her husband Doug Braff (Right) with friend, photo by  Cali Ross

Meg Braff (right) with Amal Kapen, photo by Cali Ross

Markham Roberts at Locust Valley book signing, photo by Cali Ross

Markham Roberts and Amal Kapen 
Luis Callo and Lisa Negulic, photo by Cali Ross

Meg Braff's team (old and new) left to right, Lisa Negulic, Cali Ross (PR and administration), Amal Kapen and Meredith Lewis 

Meg Braff Designs, Locust Valley, NY; photo by Cali Ross

Meg Braff Designs, Locust Valley, NY; photo by Cali Ross


Markham Roberts "Decorating the Way I see It."

If you only buy one decorating book this year, make it  Markham Roberts' new book "Decorating the Way I See It," published by the good folks at Vendome Press (2014).  Flying below the general public's radar for years, this book brings Markham Roberts' understated but highly admired work into the public eye.

Markham is a decorator's decorator: in a league with his mentor, Mark Hampton. Markham is brilliant at delivering unpretentious and refined interiors in a broad range of styles from traditional to contemporary; yet his projects never look the same.  As Senga Moritimer says in the forward: "there is never a recognizable stamp for which so many decorators become known", except a "distinct refinement that runs through all of his work."  It is as if he absorbs his clients personality and gives their style animation through his designs.  

Markham Roberts in his 
NYC office
Decorating the Way I See It strikes the perfect balance between text and photos; heavy on pictures, with just enough text to leave you wanting to hear more of Markham's terrific insights, humor and charming wit -- I laughed out loud reading about his almost yellow room.   I also learned lots about Markham that I did not know, including the fact that he is a talented photographer whose works hang in a number of his clients' homes (which he modestly mentions only briefly) and that he and his partner, furniture and art dealer James Sansumhave a very chic connected office/gallery space in NYC (33 East 68th Street on Manhattan's Upper East Side).

Markham's book starts out illustrating how the designer approaches a project-- he moves seamlessly  from floor plans, color schemes, discussing bespoke furniture  and choosing art.  The second part moves into architecture and finally the book concludes with my personal favorite -- images of his own homes.  The organization of the book makes it easy to digest and he offers lots of helpful pointers on adding the details that finish a room and make it look and function better.  For instance, his use of custom throws illustrates the perfect blend of practicality and luxury.
Markham Roberts is responsible for the understated design and the wonderful photograph (which is his own) hanging above the table in the dining room of a client's Sagaponack house.
Markham Roberts dressing room in his Clinton Corners home -- sophisticated and understated 

One of the things I love about Markham's work is how he mixes fabric patterns/textures and pulls furniture from different periods together in a way that relate well and play off each other.   This mix is perfectly illustrated in his homes that blend some of his favorite objects, inherited and collected over the years by Markham and his partner, James.  

This is Markham Roberts' Clinton Corners home, eclectic, layered in personal history 
and refined in a relaxed and understated way
Markham Roberts demonstrates a wonderful American style of decorating -- casual, inviting and not overly decorated but oozing with worldly good taste.   This book reinforced my  I belief that Markham Roberts is one of the most talented American decorators of our age -- unpretentiously blending different periods and styles for a new generation.  Decorating the Way I See It  is a must for the library of any design aficionado. You can get it here.


Hillary Thomas' Showhouse Sunroom

HIllary Thomas' Napa Valley Showhouse Sunroom, via Traditional HomeTraditional Home and Ms Thomas.
These pictures are from Hillary Thomas' Napa Valley Showhouse Sunroom that were published in October 2014 Traditional Home….I like the room, but especially love the wallpaper -- which is Meg Braff Designs "Ferns."  I have seen this print in Sunrooms and Powder rooms, but think it would nice in a bedroom as well.  While the whole room is great, my loves in Hillary Thomas' room are those knock out vintage rattan chairs, the mirror and the wallpaper. 

 I am also really liking that mirror  that walks the line between casual and glam.  You could dress up that mirror, it is brass, but it looks right at home in that sun room.  Also really like how she layered it up with the two rugs -- Moroccan wool over sisal.

Can we talk greenery for a moment?   I really like succulents and that the flowers were not overdone…I think flowers in decorating have the best impact where they are low key and look like they came either  from your yard or that you just picked them up from the market.  Succulents are so under used and they are crazy low maintenance. Despite my black thumb I can manage to keep them alive for quite some time.  Regarding the fiddle leaf tree... I confess, although fiddle leaf are ubiquitous, I still adore them.

It's great when the designers include the before pictures so you can really see the transformation of the space.